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Published 1989

In 30/05/1989 Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, appeared on a British Granada Television courtroom-style program, where current social dilemmas are explored by the technique of "Hypotheticals." In this episode, "a Satanic Scenario," a new novel deeply offends religious feelings of a minority community. A religious leader calls for the death of its author. How do the police, publisher, the courts and the government respond? The moderator is Queens Counsel Geoffrey Robinson. Stevens/Islam is recorded having this exchange with Robertson:
[beginning at minute 01:50]
Robertson: You don't think that this man deserves to die?
Y. Islam: Who, Salman Rushdie?
Robertson: Yes.
Y. Islam: Yes, yes.
Robertson: And do you have a duty to be his executioner?
Y. Islam: Uh, no, not necessarily, unless we were in an Islamic state and I was ordered by a judge or by the authority to carry out such an act - perhaps, yes.
[beginning at minute 03:10--Robertson on the subject of an protest where an effigy of the author is to be burned]
Robertson: Would you be part of that protest, Yusuf Islam, would you go to a demonstration where you knew that an effigy was going to be burned?
Y. Islam: I would have hoped that it'd be the real thing.

The complete episode can be obtained at:

The New York Times reported on this episode a week in advance: (only for registered users, cf copy):
He also said that if Mr. Rushdie turned up at his doorstep looking for help, ''I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like.''

''I'd try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is,'' said Mr. Islam, who watched a preview of the program today and said in an interview that he stood by his comments.

Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English


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